16 February 2009

Papua New Guinea

In 1967, shortly after arriving in Brisbane, Australia, I started work with an American Air Conditioning Company. A few months later, they sent me for a 3-week project to Port Moresby in the then Territory of Papua & New Guinea. These 3 weeks extended and extended. I met my wife Diane up there and we got married in Port Moresby. I ended up staying 3 years.  During my time up there I travelled extensively for the company throughout the country and with my trusty 16mm film camera was able to capture quite a lot of cultural events, of which I'd like to share a few with you here.

This first clip I shot at the Cultural Centre in Port Moresby in 1968. Various folk groups were performing for passengers off a cruise ship.

We had a project at the Australian Navy Base on Manus Island where we employed a couple of local lads to help us with the installation. On Sunday, one of the boys asked us if we wanted some coconuts. They proceed in climbing coconut palms without any mechanical help or harness they simply 'walked' up the tree and picked some coconuts which they cut loose. Interesting how they opened the coconuts once they were back on the ground.

In 1968, we hopped on a charter plane from Port Moresby to Goroka to see the famous Goroka Show which is held every 2 years alternating with Mount Hagen. During this weekend Festival, villagers from all around New Guinea congregate on the the oval and perform their traditional dances and music in their traditional costumes. It is a most colourful display and of course I had my movie camera with me.

After Diane and I got married in 1969, we decided to return back to Australia to set up home. But we both fondly remember our years in this amazing country.